The Lacobie Name

The Lacobies are small in number, in fact, only about a dozen or so in the United States -- and they all have a not-very-distant relation to us. One might assume that 'Lacobie' is a corruption or misspelling of 'Lacombe', of which there are several in the United States and France. However, this is not so, at least according to the traces of the name some of my family members researched. In fact, the name didn't start out as Lacobie at all, but a much longer Italian name. Yes, the origins are Italian, even though the family has been solidly Cajun for the past 150 years or so.

But, before revealing origins, a note on pronunciation: Ever since my parents moved to Houston, we've always accepted an alternative, non-Cajun, pronunciation of our name, 'La Coh BEE', very French sounding with the feminine "the" article in front (in fact, this leads to frequent misspellings, namely "La Cobie". But, in southern Louisiana, it has always been pronounced 'Lock uh bee'. But, we're easy going, any pronunciation will do.

Perhaps the real pronunciation hints back to the original Italian name: Lucubichi. I don't know much about this family name, but according to our history, a Jose Lucubichi, a native of the town Ragusa, Syracusa province, Italy, born in 1769, is a great-great-great-great-grandfather of mine.

According to this history (see Lucubichi Life Sketch for details), Jose Lucubichi's mother died in 1784, so he signed aboard a ship as a sailor and served in the city of Cartagena for one year. In 1785, he signed aboard a Spanish warship and sailed for Havana, Cuba, where he served another year and a half. In 1787, he went to the city of New Orleans, Province of Louisiana, and then on to Natchitoches. By 1796, he's in Nacogdoches, Texas, then Spanish territory, and becomes a citizen of the territory (perhaps this is when he took on the "Jose" name). In 1803, he married Mauricia Mora, and had three children: Marie, Joseph Lucubichi (or, alternatively Lecoubiche, or Lacoubiche), born 1801, and Gabine. Jose died in or shortly before 1820.

Courtesy of Sean Powell, there is some genetic research that suggest Lucubichi's origins are actually Croatian, not Italian. The name is probably an Italian corruption of an orginally Croation name Luković, just as Lacobie/Lacobee is a corruption of Lucubichi.

(side note: daughter Marie apparently kept the name Lucoviche. She married a Jean Loque, and had one son, Jean Loque, who died in 1821 (no birth dates recorded for these names). But there's another genealogy "reference to a Marie Antonie Lucoviche, married to a Auguste Lestan Rambin (b. 1826), as well. Same name?)

On 30 June 1838, the son Joseph was married to Marie Josephine Lafitte. This is not the same family as the famed pirate, but traces back to a Paul Bouet Lafitte, born in 1744 in Lectourne, Gastogne (southwestern France), moving to the French settlement of Natchitoches in the late 1760s.

It is Joseph Lecoubiche who changed his name to Lacobie or Lacobee. An 1880 census, records his name as Lacobee (and his nickname as "Guiare"], and his headstone is also Lacobee. They had two children by the 1840s: Hillaire and Emile. Hilliare was named after Hillaire Lafitte, Marie's uncle. By the 1850 census, Joseph and Marie had seven other children at home (apparently, Hillaire and Emile have already moved out): Aaron, 1839, Emile 1841, Peter 1844, Joseph 1846, Houston 1849, Frazine 1850, and Lewis 1857. Later, wife Marie died, and Joseph remarried, to a Liza Allen, on 1 January 1865.

Hillaire (AKA "Eli") Lacobie married Marie Bourgeois on 16 January 1876, and they had several children:

  • Hypolite b. 4 Feb 1878, in Breaux Bridge, La.
  • Edouard 28 June 1879 Lafayette, La.
  • Arcade 8 January 1882, Breaux Bridge
  • Marie Edna 2 July 1883 Rayne
  • Simon 25 June 1887 Lafayette
  • Adam 17 May 1888 Lafayette
  • Alphonse 2 August 1890 Lafayette
  • Lee Lacobie 1885 Natchitoches

Amos Lacobie, Adam's son, recalls (during an oral history, taken in the 1980s), that Hillaire and Marie died quite young (in approximately 1898, according to another source, Adam's granddaughter Nita), and the children had a hard time making it by themselves. The older children took care of the younger ones, with help from relatives and friends.

There are records on several of these children's families on down, especially Houston, Adam, Alphonse, and Hypolite (Paul), but I'll concentrate on my great-grandfather, Lee Lacobie. Lee married Angel (or Angela) Bergeron, and children included: Octavia, Wallace, Mildred, Eunice, Annie Mae (notice all the daughters), and also sons Wilson, Stephen, and Lawless Adam Lacobie, my grandfather. In the 1920 census, this family was living in Sulphur, La, just outside of lake Charles.

Lawless married Velma Arsement (of which there's a very interesting, clear history to the original Cajuns, the French-Canadians that were kicked out of Canada. See my notes on the Arsement family), and they had three children: Shirley, Lester Larry Lacobie, and Brenda. They lived most of their life in Port Arthur, Texas, moving there in the 1920s in response to the oil boom started by Spindletop oil wells, near Beaumont, Texas.

But, on the other branches below Hillaire, I have the following notes:

  • Edouard/Edward had no children, but one adopted daughter, Edna Berg. They lived in Port Arthur.
  • Hypolite is noted in the 1920 Lafayette census, with children Allen (b. ~1909) [I have discovered Allen's name as a member of WW2 army unit, also from Lafayette] , and Hilda (d. 17 Nov 1994, New Orleans), but no more is known after that, hence no surviving Lacobie names on those branches.
  • a Mr. Culver found me on the Internet (that incident is what started this whole web page!), and provided me some notes on Adam Lacobie. His mother was a daughter of Adam. Adam married Marie Dugas, and lived in Lafayette for several years. Their children were Lillian, Nita, Amos, Rufus, Ruby, and Alyne. Notice all the daughters in that branch too. This explains why the name is so rare now!
  • Ah, the Internet is the cause of so many discoveries! Debbie Lynn Lacobie-Menard, whom I've never met, contacted me recently (March 2004) as well, with more information on the Adam Lacobie branch. She's a daughter of Amos Lacobie. Her notes are enough to merit a separate section, so read below for details.

Now, Hillaire had some brothers, but they all seem to have the alternatively spelled name Lacobee. This division in the name has remained so today:

  • Hillaire's brother Houston married Melia Rambin (AKA Marie Emily, "Amelia") on 14 Oct 1869, and had children Edward (4 July 1871), Estelle (1875), David (1877), Octavia (1878), Sylvester (1880), Emma (1882), Aquilla (1886), Martin (1887). Of the name-passing sons:
    • Edward Lacobee had several children: Claude (1892), Alberta (1897), Ida (1900), Alton (1904), Johnnie (1905).
    • David Lacobee's children include: Gertrude (1900), Lucille (1903), Mary (1905), Calvin (1908), Clifford (1910), Houston (1912), Thomas/Budley (1915), Max (1918) and Loretta Beatrice (1924).
    • Sylvester Lacobee's (m. Louisa Middleton) children: Thelma (1908), Sidney (10 Mar 1910), Helen (10 Jan 1912), Nettie Louise (17 June 1914), Estella/Stella (24 Aug 1916), and Sylvester Jr (1921).
      • Sidney Lacobee's (m. Eugenia Rooks) children: Dorothy Jean Lacobee Cobb (1932-2018), Edgar Lacobee, Linda Lacobee, and Sidney Stephen Lacobie
      • Sylvester Jr. had no children.
    • Martin Lacobee's (m. Rose Brosette) children include: Teresa (1909), Rose (1911), Mary (1918), Martin Lee Lacobee Jr. (1920), and Francois Houston Lacobee (1926). Francois (AKA Francis) was killed in the invasion of Okinawa, 1945.
  • Another brother of Hilliare, Peter, also went by Lacobee. I happened to find a reference to him, as the military keeps such good records! Peter was in the Civil War, enlisted as a Private in Company G, 27th Louisiana Infantry. He died 29 Dec 1862, and is interred in Vicksburg, grave #565.
  • Brother Lewis Lacobee married a Marie Avelinna Rambin, but died in 1919 with no children.
  • I have a note that says several of the Lacobee family members are buried at St. Ann Cemetery, in Stonewall, La, and "in an old cemetery nearby which has not been kept up and no records are available."

    There are perhaps several (a dozen or so?) Lacobees around today.

More on the Adam Lacobie branch: (notes courtesy of Debbie Lacobie-Menard. Thanks, Debbie!). Adam Lacobie married Marie Dugas Lacobie, and had children:

  1. Lillian Lacobie Duhon (deceased) - married Charles - had 2 sons: Chuck & Gary
  2. Nita Culver Nicewarner McNally (living, in Mesa AZ) - remarried - has 3 children:Larry, Janet & Tommy
  3. Rufus Lacobie (deceased) - married Malonie - one daughter, Ginger (GiGi)
  4. Ruby Lacobie Wilcox (deceased) - married Eugene - had 3 children:
    • Eugenia (Genie), married to Stan, has 3 children & lives in Nevada
    • Lionel, married to Nora Boutte, has 3 children & lives in Lafayette, and
    • William, married/divorced Helen & lives in Baton Rouge
  5. Amos Lacobie (deceased-7/11/91, was the first of his siblings to pass away), married Jean Carter - had 2 children:
    • Debbie Lynn married/divorced Jerry Lejeune had Traci Marie Lejeune (deceased 2/18/75). Remarried Daniel Menard (11/19/76) - has 2 daughters:
      • Dayle Marie - has 2 children; Dylan Paul Lormand (12/13/1999) & Desiree Lynn (11/4/2000)
      • Dayna Marie - not married
    • Glenn Carter Lacobie
  6. Alyne Lacobie (deceased) never married

Here are some of the surviving Lacobies we know of (with help from Carl Lacobie, who recently (March 2004) sent us some updates!):

  • Wilson J. Lacobie (brother of Lawless), of Groves, Texas. I remember visiting him.
    • Leonard J. Lacobie, of Anderson, South Carolina (with wife Elaine Lacobie)
      • Tracy Lacobie, living in Greenville, SC
      • Daniel Lacobie, living in Anderson, SC, with a son, Dalton Lacobie
    • Carl G. Lacobie of Glasgow, KY, with one son, David W. Lacobie living in Pennsgrove, NJ, and wife Eleanor Lacobie
  • Evelyn Lacobie living in Woodbury, NJ (formerly married to Carl)
  • Sara Lacobie, living in Anderson, SC (formerly married to Leonard)
  • William Lacobie, Jr.
  • and my brothers, 2 of them.

'Lacobie' has finally reckoned into fiction, being the name of mentor Mike Lacobie in the recent science fiction novel EarthWeb, by Marc Steigler. Read Chapter 3:

Lacobie Street. The Lacobie name has been immortalized in geography as well. There's a Lacobie Street in Lafayette. Debbie Lacobie-Menard writes, "On the northside of town was a small street called Willow Street. The first house belonged to the Shipmans and then the line of Lacobie homes began. My grandparents [Adam] had the first home, then we lived in the second home (my father [Amos] built the home with his barehands upon his return from the war and during his 3 year engagement to my mother - the home was moved, but still exists); next was Aunt Ailene's home, then Aunt Lillian's home (it's still there, as she lived in it until she passed away a few years ago). That ended the 1200 block of Willow Street.

"Lacobie Street runs from the end of Dad's and Aunt Ailene's property to the pecan grove."

© 2019, Kevin & Connie Lacobie Some graphics by: